Organic food production: from the field to the plate and with added value

27 May 2022

It seeks to care for the environment and the health of consumers. It guarantees quality attributes based on certification and traceability.

In tune with a healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyle, organic production is a growing trend worldwide. In Argentina, this market gains more followers every day who seek to take care of their health, preserve the habitat and contribute to the care of the planet. But what does “organic” refer to?

It is an alternative production system to the traditional one, which promotes sustainable agriculture, with greater environmental balance and care for the land. It proposes a clean production of chemical substances and a responsible use of environmental resources: it does not pollute the water, the air or the soil, and it minimizes carbon emissions, thus mitigating climate change. Nor are transgenic seeds or synthetic agrochemicals used.

Facundo Soria, responsible for the Organic Production area of ​​the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAGYP), explains it this way: “It is a production system that is based on holistic and integrated management of resources, to produce in a sustainable way. sustainable. In the case of the food sector, it offers products without traces of agrochemicals or genetically modified organisms, since it expressly excludes them, both in its raw material and in its processing”.

The requirements for organic production are diverse and are related to the transition period of the farm; the selection of seeds and plant materials; the method of plant improvement; the maintenance of the fertility of the soil used and the recycling of organic matter; water conservation and methods for pest, disease and weed control. In addition, criteria were established on the use of organic fertilizers and supplies for the control of pests and diseases. With regard to the production of animals, there are normally requirements regarding health, feeding, reproduction, living conditions, transportation and procedures for slaughtering them.

The quality certificate

The benefits of organic have to do with the five normative constitutive principles. “The organic improves and maintains the chemical, physical, and biological fertility of the soil; promotes biodiversity; does not allow the use of chemical synthesis substances and GMOs; It has traceability and promotes animal welfare. For example, it does not allow the feed lot in cattle or intensive sheds for laying hens or broiler chickens”, describes Soria.

This type of food has certification processes -national and international- that guarantee the organic quality of a product, verifying compliance with the corresponding Organic Production Standard, according to the destination market.

According to Soria, in Argentina, organic production is regulated by Law 25,127, and is defined by internationally recognized official and private organizations, such as the Codex Alimentarius or the IFOAM Association; and includes a certification and control system. “It is necessary to comply with the standard, which is an established quality protocol, endorsed by the State. It is necessary that this protocol be certified, that is, that a third party, qualified in the matter, periodically audit these productive processes of primary production, elaboration and commercialization, to verify compliance with the norm”.

Once the certification is successful, the products can carry the label “organic”, “ecological”, “biological”, “eco” or “bio”, five words can only be used in the labeling if it is certified in compliance with this standard . In that direction, the Magyp representative adds that this peculiarity is complemented by the use of a quality seal that, in the case of Argentina, is national and is called Organic Argentina. In addition, there is the logo of the certifiers “that do the direct audit work, which is delegated by Senasa, the body in charge of supervising them.”

All in all, promoting sustainable agriculture, with a greater environmental balance and care for the land, is not only thinking of a market tool but of a more active and responsible consumer.

Source: El Destape Web